'Unlucky' race fails to dampen Jenson Button's spirits in 'final' grand prix
Jenson Button signed off on his Formula 1 career with a disappointing race in which he was forced to retire with suspension failure, but the "unlucky" incident didn't dampen the 2009 champion's spirits.
Competing in his 305th and 'final' race, Button had hoped to see the checkered flag and possibly sign off with a points finish, but it wasn't to be as on Lap 13 his right-front wishbone snapped after heavy contact with a raised kerb, ending his race prematurely.
But the Briton saw the positive side and begun celebrating what will almost certainly be the end of his F1 career with his family in the McLaren garage.
"A suspension component failed on the car – which very rarely happens to us," he said. "I had a failure on the right-front – and I’m just glad I was able to figure it out before I hit the brakes [for Turn 11].
"It’s always been a massive strength of our team that components so rarely fail, but today – of all days – something did, which is just unlucky.
“Nonetheless, I enjoyed today massively," he added. “My race was short, but I loved everything else.
"I was really emotional before I got in the car – it was such a special atmosphere to have the whole team and all my friends and family cheer me on my way into the garage. I’m just glad I was wearing my sunglasses at that moment...
“I’m very content with all I’ve achieved in my career. Now, it’s done. I live in the moment, though, and tonight’s going to be a helluva lot of fun!”
Team boss Eric Boullier praised Button's career and his time at McLaren.
"I’m sad and sorry that his race ended in suspension failure – but, having said that, the minor placing he thereby lost will mean little to him in what I gather from my British colleagues is called the grand scheme of things.
"His McLaren record speaks for itself: eight Grand Prix wins, some of them utterly superb, and seven great years in which he won the hearts of McLaren’s staff and fans alike. On behalf of us all, JB, I salute you."